From December 20-24, my family raced through the provinces of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. It was an amazing race alright! Our first pit stop was at the Villa Angela Heritage House in Vigan, Ilocos Sur and it was a stop we were more than eager to make! For the non-Filipinos who might be reading this entry, it might interest you to know that Vigan is a good 8-hour drive from Metro Manila and that’s if you drive non-stop, which I don’t advise. We welcomed ourselves to the town of Vigan by feasting on a very late lunch of Ilocano food at Kusina Felecitas.
Kusina Felecitas is the in-house signature restaurant of Grandpa’s Inn. The restaurant’s walls, according to the website, is made of 18th century bricks. Hanging on these walls are paintings, which diners can buy. The rustic furniture pieces are all locally made, furniture making, after all, is one of the industries that Vigan is known for.
The Kusina Felecitas menu offered us plenty of choices. But there’s only so much we can eat, so we ordered dishes that were mostly new to us or that had an Ilocano twist.
Of all the food choices, Poqui-Poqui Balls, piqued our curiosity the most. The name of the dish made us smile, too!
It is simply an eggplant omelet formed into balls, sort of like croquettes.
We tried the Krispy Bunog as well, my choice.
There’s just something about deep-fried fish no matter the size that just calls out to me. Bunog, we learned, are small fishes indigenous to the Abra-Banaoang River. They are fried until crispy to the bones. The dip of choice is referred to as KBL – kamatis (tomatoes), bagoong (shrimp paste) and lasona (onions). Yum-eeee!
Because we were in Ilocos, it only made sense to order Bagnet, deep fried pork.
Gotta love the crispy pork skin! The Ilocano way of eating bagnet is to dip it in KBL. *wink*
We had to have vegetables, so we ordered what I believe is called Baradibod, a vegetable stew thickened with gabi or camote.
One has the option to make it more special, that is by adding fish to the vegetables, and that’s exactly what we did.
We also had Pinakbet, which was topped with bagnet…
As it is, I already love pinakbet, but I sure loved it more with the crispy deep fried meat! I sure ate sinfully during our vacation! Ha!
We weren’t too sure how my daughter will warm up to Ilocano food, so we ordered some dishes, which she was sure to like the Tinola Ilocano.
We also had pork barbecue, again for the youngest members of our party.
For the big boys, pork spareribs made its appearance on the table.
Here’s the last dish, promise, Lomi served with 2 pieces of pandesal…
Oh my, we did eat a lot! Didn’t I say we feasted?! Long drives will do this to you, really!
I’m glad we had our first Ilocano meal at Kusina Felecitas. The place was really homey. It’s like dining in your lola’s (grandma’s) kitchen.
Believe me when I say that we didn’t always eat like this. Well, that’s a lie. Hee hee. A lot of times, we ate like this, specially on our last week of vacation. And you’ll read about each and everyone of them! :)